Grandma's Remedies: A Guide to Traditional Cures and Treatments from Mustard Poultices to Rosehip Syrup

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Random House, Nov 10, 2009 - Social Science - 272 pages

Long before modern medicines became so widely available, families treated everyday illnesses with home-made remedies. Reused and refined year after year, they were handed down through the generations then lovingly copied into personal 'receipt' books. Grandma's Remedies brings together a beguiling collection of them, gathered from dusty medicine chests found in attics, recalled from childhoods long past, or discovered in family archives and libraries.

Many of them are surprisingly effective. Did you know, for example, that drinking two cups of strong black coffee will alleviate an asthma attack? Or that chewing toasted fennel seeds will help combat indigestion? Or that rosehip syrup is a terrific source of vitamin C?

But Grandma's Remedies is more than a guide to these traditional treatments, it also paints a vivid portrait of the world of our grandparents and great-grandparents. It shows how inventive and resourceful they were with the materials near to hand, how they made the most of everything in the store-cupboard, from bread through to vinegar, and how it was the women of the household who, despite being barred from the medical profession, were relied on to safeguard family health.

In these days of antibiotics and painkillers, it's easy to forget how people survived when all they had to rely on was a garden, a larder and a healthy dose of common sense.

 

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Contents

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Saints Witches and Wise Women
Saint of Herbs Anastasia
The Mother of Gynaecology Trotula di Ruggerio
The Wisdom of the Lady of the Lake The Physicians of Myddfai
A Visionary Healer Hildegard of Bingen

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To the Manor Born Lady Margaret Hoby
Advice to Tudor Housewives Thomas Tusser
A Directory for Midwives Nicholas Culpeper and the Doctrine of Signatures
A Curious Herbal Elizabeth Blackwell
A Heroine of the Crimean War Mary Seacole
A Modern Herbal Hilda Leyel and Mrs Maud Grieve
Helping Gravity to Help Us Dr Ida Rolf
She Stoops to Conker The WI and the Home Front
A Travellers Tale Annie Penfold
West to East Anne McIntyre
Following in Grandmas Footsteps
Places to Visit
Bibliography Further Reading
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

For many years, Cherry Chappell has been a public relations practitioner and writer in the fields of health and wellbeing, covering both orthodox and complementary medicine. She lives in London and Cornwall. Her other books include Minding Your Own Business: Survival Strategies for Starting Up on Your Own, Writing Better Letters and Perfect Wedding Planning.

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